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Mobile Services Are Next Uber Trend

Sarah Thomas

The massive $258 million round of funding Uber raised this past month is indicative of more than just the need for better taxi services. It's another sign of how mobile services can play a transformative role in our everyday lives. (See: Baby, You Can Fund My Car: Uber Drives August VC.)

In compiling the list of August funding wins, Rutberg & Co. noted that transportation app companies like Uber and Lyft are "redefining physical world services with great front-end mobile user interfaces and experiences." It's a trend that the analyst firm believes is just beginning and could spread across many other verticals. The analysts write:

    The service marketplaces are characterized by low infrastructure requirements, an open field for consumer brand creation, and a strong barrier through network effects for companies with scale. The companies are fundamentally disrupting the traditional players, ecosystems, and business models and are leveraging collaborative consumption to enable peer-to-peer services and individual personal businesses.

In a time when we have millions of mobile apps to choose from, it's rare to find one that really transforms how we interact with a business or how we complete an everyday process. Funding is not always an indicator of success, but apps like Uber, built with a mobile-first mindset and utilizing uniquely mobile features like the GPS and camera, have a lot of potential for staying power. I agree with Rutbergs that we'll also see this dynamic play out in verticals like healthcare, where the smartphone is becoming a tool for monitoring, wellness, and even diagnosis.

Wireless operators will want to keep an eye on this trend, too, because these types of transformative mobile services will showcase the power -- or shortcomings -- of their LTE networks. The combination of powerful devices, powerful networks, and powerful services will be an exciting area to watch.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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5/22/2019 | 6:59:00 AM
On Demand Taxi Solutions
Great article. Our trend is beyond Uber who introduced a scintillating technology for people to book taxis. At the time, there are also other companies came into existence who build an on-demand taxi dispatch software for the taxi business.
7/27/2016 | 8:10:17 AM
Re: Mobile Trend
Taxi applications have seen development in the previous couple of years. Whether it is Uber that is available over the globe in numerous urban areas or neighborhood taxi applications, more buyers are hopping onto the applications for cab drivers alternative over the conventional taxi in their city. Uber continues to grow its business along with the mobile trend.
Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas
9/30/2013 | 5:10:32 PM
Re: It's an iPhone life
I've definitely come to count on apps like Uber, maps, and Square too. I'm in NYC right now and have already used the maps a bunch, but my phone is also having issues -- it won't keep a charge. I guess that points out a potential problem -- any innovative service will always be limited by data plans and battery life. I don't see that as a huge problem, but it's always best to design services that are friendly to both the network and battery.
Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas
9/30/2013 | 5:06:59 PM
Re: Uber a Winner
Uber has definitely nailed the payments part of the process (although I got annoyed when they tacked on a usage fee). I also like that you enter your credit card information by using the phone's camera to take a picture of it. More good use of integration with the device.
9/30/2013 | 3:48:46 PM
Re: Uber a Winner
Over the years the payment industry managed to get people to design systems and layouts around them. While at the time it was out of necessity it is no longer so as payments are simply a utility which mobile and constant connectivity along with continuous data collection has superseeded. Successful retailers and other payment users will recognize what companies like Stripe and Braintree recognised, which is that they can totally redesign the customer experience by removing payments as a deciding factor.
9/30/2013 | 2:10:49 PM
Uber a Winner
The success of Uber was discussed by some of the panelists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's Payments Symposium last week.

One of the speakers pointed out that one of the things that Uber is doing successfully -- and needs to be done in the U.S. --- is making payment a painless and seemless part of the user experience.
9/30/2013 | 1:52:09 PM
Re: It's an iPhone life
Yes, agree. Or take it a step further and look at the managed servcies (using on premise location) opportunity for mobile operators as enterprise transition away from buy/manage 80% Capex to 80% Opex services http://bit.ly/XO0NRE

9/30/2013 | 11:31:50 AM
It's an iPhone life
Good post and there's no question that the holy triumvirate of devices, networks and services will, and already is, dramatically altering our social and professional lives. On a recent trip to NYC, I was dependent upon my phone for almost everything, especially apps such as Uber and Square. As you mentioned, healthcare will be a key area to watch, especially as health insurers start to tie monitoring apps to annual plans, e.g., more activity, healthier diet equals lower premiums.  
9/30/2013 | 11:22:23 AM
Right on...
For a change I won't be controversial in my comments - last paragraph is, to use that marketing term that I hate,  "spot on."
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